Meet Ernesto Tanmantiong, Jollibee CEO

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jollibee franchise

Not everyone in the UK will be familiar with the Jollibee brand. After all, the majority of its restaurants can be found across the rest of the globe. But as the fast food chain is gradually starting to make its mark in the UK, we thought it would be interesting to learn more about the Jollibee CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong.

We all love to indulge in some comforting fast food from time to time. Therefore, fast food franchises are undeniably big business in the UK and overseas. Next up in our ‘Meet the CEO’ series is the Jollibee CEO. By the end of this article, you should know more about the brand and the man behind it.

Who is Jollibee CEO, Ernesto Tanmantiong?

The CEO, President and Director of Jollibee Foods Corporation is Ernesto Tanmantiong, who has been in the role since the beginning of January 2014. He has been a member of the Board since 1987, though.

Before he took on his current positions, he was the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and the Treasurer. In 2006, he received the Corporate Citizen Award of the year at the CNBC Asian Business Leaders Awards.

ernesto tanmantiong

Ernesto Tanmantiong received a BS Business Management degree from the Ateneo De Manila University and completed the Harvard Business School OPM Key Executive programme in 2000 and HBS Advanced Management programme in 2013. He is a member of the World Presidents Organisation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Ateneo de Manila University.

When talking about his ambitious expansion plans, Tanmantiong says:

“For UK, we’re planning to open 25 stores in the next five years and another 25 in the rest of Europe. The reason why we’re quite optimistic is because of the big and warm response on the first day of opening, [when] customers waited for 18 hours to visit our store. We see there’s a big potential for the fried chicken market in the UK.”

What is Jollibee?

Jollibee is a multinational Filipino restaurant chain owned by Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), one the world’s largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant companies. It has approximately 4,500 stores across 21 countries, including in South-East Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, North America, France and the UK.

Jollibee sells Filipino, Chinese, European and American dishes in a quick-serve and affordable format. The most popular dishes include the Chicken Joy (fried chicken), Jolly Spaghetti (a sweet spaghetti dish) and the Yumburger (a hamburger), as well as hot dogs, rice dishes, chips and ice cream.

History of Jollibee

Tony Tan Caktiong (Tanmantiong’s brother) founded Jollibee in 1978, after having initially opened an ice cream parlour with his family in 1975. The company proved incredibly successful and grew rapidly. It even managed to survive during the introduction of McDonald’s in the Philippines in 1981. This was achieved through it focusing on specific, authentic Filipino tastes, and so it offered something different to the American fast food giant.

Jollibee is a huge success story, considering that Tony Tan Caktiong was born into a poor family and has now become a billionaire worth $2.8 billion.

Does Jollibee franchise in the UK?


According to Tanmantiong:

“In our expansion plans, we actually have a mix of joint venture, full franchising and some that are corporate owned. So, we’re flexible in the set-up for our expansion.”

Let’s take a closer look at the opportunity.

  • Becoming a Jollibee franchise: Jollibee is looking for entrepreneurs who are self-motivated and prepared to get involved with the day-to-day operations. You can fill in an application form here.
  • How much you need to invest: You need to have a minimum net worth of $5 million.
  • What you get for your investment: You will have access to a three-month, full-time Basic Operations Training Programme (BOTP) at a training store. You’ll also be helped with the recruitment and training of staff.

Other franchise opportunities in the Asian food industry

Wok To Walk

You’ve probably seen Wok To Walk’s black and orange logo on the high street somewhere. Ever wondered if you could own your own? Well, read on to find out more about the exciting opportunity.

There are over 85 Wok To Walk stores giving customers their Asian food fix and taking the food service industry by storm.

  • Becoming a Wok To Walk franchisee: The franchise opportunity is flexible. You can open a flagship store or a hole-in-the-wall spot, it’s up to you! It’s the versatile business model that attracts all types of customers. Wok To Walk is looking for entrepreneurs who share its ambitious expansion plans. Click here to learn more and sign up.
  • How much you need to invest: Restaurant start-up costs can vary, but you’re looking at around £100,000 for the minimum investment cost.
  • What you get for your investment: As well as a globally recognised brand name, you will benefit from a tried and tested training programme. The HQ team works with franchisees and provides bespoke consultancy services and support.


Established in Chester in 2008, this Asian food franchise offers noodle and rice dishes, along with salads, soups and Asian ice creams. Wok&Go blends food traditions from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Japan to bring the very best healthy and speedy dishes to its customers.
The brand is based on very quick service. Despite only cooking individual dishes after the order has been made, it ensures that only fresh and nutritious food makes its way to customers. Asian food fanatics can find Wok&Go in 18 locations in the UK, across North West, North East and Southern England and Wales.

  • Becoming a Wok&Go franchisee: The brand has high hopes for expansion and is particularly looking for qualified individual and corporate franchisees interested in opening up in the South of England, London and Manchester. You can learn more and register your interest here.
  • How much you need to invest: Interested franchisees should make a total investment of £200,000 and pay franchise fees of £20,000.
  • What you get for your investment: You will receive help in the recruitment and staff training processes and be allocated a dedicated area manager, who will visit the franchise twice a month.

Start an Asian restaurant franchise and follow in the Jollibee CEO’s footsteps

Over the next few years, Jollibee is set to see success in the UK. To read more about this and the brand in general, click here. If you don’t have the net worth required to open your own Jollibee outlet, why not consider one of the Asian food franchises on our network?

>> Read more articles on the Fast Food sector

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